Reincarnation: Past Life Evidence
Transmigration of the Soul

Reincarnation (Past Life Evidence)
Transmigration of the Soul

A sick little boy healed after remembering his past life. Is this the end of life or the cue for a new beginning? Millions believe in reincarnation. Is there proof that it actually happens? Do people pass through many life times and can they bring back memories of having lived before?

Reincarnation is believed to occur when the soul or spirit, after the death of the body, comes back to Earth in a newborn body.

This phenomenon is also known as transmigration of the soul.

Transmigration of the soul is a belief common to many cultures, in which the soul passes from one body to another, either human, animal, or inanimate.

The Australian aborigines believe that an infant is a reincarnation of deceased ancestors and that the soul is continually reborn. Some Indonesian peoples hold that ancestral souls reside in sacred animals, sometimes in preparation for a new incarnation.

Similarly, several tribes in western Amazonia avoid eating certain animals, such as deer, because they believe ancestral souls have entered the animals' bodies.

Millions believe in reincarnation. Is there proof that it actually happens?

Do people pass through many lifetimes and can they bring back memories from having lived before? Therapies now encouraging people to relive their violent moments of their deaths in previous lives.

Scientists are trying to assess the evidence from those who’ve claimed to have live before. Will they prove the case for reincarnation and reveal what brings those memories to the human mind?

It is believed by some that the human body is basically a "vehicle" for the soul. This vehicle physically changes over time yet the soul basically remains the same. Without a physical vehicle of the soul, no one would be able to physically interact within this world.

Some evidence may suggest that certain people have lived before within this world and for some reason or another are back within a new vehicle of the soul.

Why this may occur is unknown but theories have been suggested that may indicate that the soul of the person may actually choose to return.

Other theories suggest that we may return for possibly a second chance at life. Maybe the individual did not learn what they needed to in their past life or maybe their life was cut short.

If this is true than it would appear to indicate that in some sense, life is basically a test.

Some evidence may suggest that reincarnation is real and that the soul may be able to come back into another physical body. Science claims there is no evidence to support that reincarnation exists yet many people claim it is real.

'Have we lived before?' is an ancient question which will probably never be fully answered as a whole and science will probably never claim it is real due to lack of evidence.

But this lack of evidence appears to work in both directions and viewpoints. So maybe, if we open our minds we might just try to believe that it is possible that we all may have lived once before.


Reincarnation Evidence: Stevenson's Research

Psychiatrist Ian Stevenson, from the University of Virginia, investigated many reports of young children who claimed to remember a past life.

He conducted more than 2,500 case studies over a period of 40 years and published twelve books, including Twenty Cases Suggestive of Reincarnation and Where Reincarnation and Biology Intersect.

Stevenson methodically documented each child's statements and then identified the deceased person the child identified with, and verified the facts of the deceased person's life that matched the child's memory.

He also matched birthmarks and birth defects to wounds and scars on the deceased, verified by medical records such as autopsy photographs, in Reincarnation and Biology.

Stevenson searched for disconfirming evidence and alternative explanations for the reports, and believed that his strict methods ruled out all possible "normal" explanations for the child’s memories.

However, a significant majority of Stevenson's reported cases of reincarnation originated in Eastern societies, where dominant religions often permit the concept of reincarnation. Following this type of criticism, Stevenson published a book on European Cases of the Reincarnation Type.

Other people who have undertaken reincarnation research include Jim B. Tucker, Brian Weiss, and Raymond Moody. Some skeptics, such as Paul Edwards, have analyzed many of these accounts, and called them anecdotal.

Skeptics suggest that claims of evidence for reincarnation originate from selective thinking and the psychological phenomena of false memories that often result from one's own belief system and basic fears, and thus cannot be counted as empirical evidence. But other skeptics, such as Carl Sagan, see the need for more reincarnation research.

The most obvious objection to reincarnation is that there is no evidence of a physical process by which a personality could survive death and travel to another body, and researchers such as Professor Stevenson recognize this limitation. Another objection is that most people do not remember previous lives.

Possible counter-arguments are that not all people reincarnate, or that most people do not have memorable deaths. The vast majority of cases investigated at the University of Virginia involved people who had met some sort of violent or untimely death.